Today, the news that two police officer’s were seriously wounded while being assigned to a protest taking place at the police headquarters in Ferguson inspired these “musings”.
We have a serious need to examine who is continually stoking the fires of racial grievances and discord and why are they doing this. I believe that there is an intentional agenda to promote within the African-American community both a feeling of entitlement and victimhood to create a class of people who are totally dependent on one political class for their life’s sustenance. This is not only morally irresponsible and unjust, it is highly toxic and dangerous. The black communities have been listening and trusting for decades all of the wrong people. They have bought into the lie of Planned Parenthood and killing their own children. In 2009 35% of all abortions were African-American babies. Not only are they killing their children in the womb, but their cultural decay is killing their young men in the streets of major cities. In 2012, blacks in New York constituted 78% of shooting suspects and 74% of all shooting victims even though they are less than 23% of the city’s population. Young black men in New York are 36 times more likely to be murdered than young white men. Today, black males between the ages of 14 and 17 commit homicide at ten times the rate of white and Hispanic males of the same age combined.
Let us look back at some historical statistics:
In 1950, 72 percent of all black men and 81 percent of black women had been married.
• Every census from 1890 to 1950 showed that black labor force participation rates were higher than those of whites.
• Prior to the 1960’s the unemployment rate for black 16 and 17-year olds was under 10 percent.
• Before 1960, the number of teenage pregnancies had been decreasing; both poverty and dependency were declining, and black income was rising in both absolute and relative terms to white income.
• In 1965, 76.4 percent of black children were born to married women.
Beginning with the entitlement programs initiated under President Johnson’s War on Poverty which turned cultural incentives upside down, and the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which had the unintended consequence of giving legal credence to making any type of behavioral judgment toxic; the cultural glue that kept the African-American family together was fundamentally changed.
Statistics since 1960 support this analysis.
• Between 1960 and 1964, blacks were rising into professional and other high-level positions at a rate greater than the five years following passage of the Civil Rights Act.
• The 1960 census showed the first signs of a decline in black marriages, with acceleration in later years.
• Since the 1960s unemployment rates for black 16 and 17 year olds has never dropped below 20 percent.
• In 1980, 31 percent of all black first-born children were born to teenage mothers.
• By 1992, 54 percent-of all black children were living only with their mothers.
• From 1990 to 1994, 77 percent of first births to black women were premarital.
• In the 1980s and 90s, an absolute majority of those black families with no husband present lived in poverty.
• By the 2000s, 75% of blacks with a high-school degree or some college were not married.
• In 2005, Black people accounted for 13% of the total U.S. population yet they were the victims of 49% of all the nation’s murders; and 93% of black murder victims were killed by other black people.
• Less than half of black students graduated from high school in 2005.
• In 2009, 73% of black children were born to unmarried mothers.
• In many urban areas, the black illegitimacy rate is well over 80 percent.
Second, we must stop ignoring bad behavior and choices in the African-American community. Discriminating between proper and bad behavior as a legitimate judgment, it is not discrimination or bigotry. Basic psychology tells us when you are allowed to get away with and are rewarded for bad behavior; you reinforce and get more progressively worse behavior that harms children.
Third, there must be an admission that clinging to a counterproductive culture that is supposedly “authentic” in the name of group pride or to avoid self-reliance and personal responsibility is not only historically incorrect, it harms children.
Lastly, the African-American community, with or without the civil rights “establishment,” must acknowledge and demand that the family is, and will forever be, the originator and primary transmitter of social capital — values and character traits — that enable children, on becoming adults, to seize opportunities and become productive citizens. Toxic role models that guide children into a culture of destructive behaviors must be challenged.
In short, if the family structure is a primary predictor of an individual’s life chances, and if family disintegration is the principal cause of the transmission of poverty and despair in the black community over the last 50 years, then family integration will stabilize the institution and offer children hope.